If you’ve noticed changes to your vaginal discharge, you may wonder: Is it a harmless inconvenience or a sign of a health problem that requires attention?
The answer to that question depends on what is causing the discharge.
Here at Westover Hills Women’s Health, board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist Houmam Al-Hakeem, MD, along with his team diagnose and treat a full range of women’s health concerns, including vaginal discharge. Here’s what you need to know about this common issue.
Vaginal discharge is a fluid that is released from the healthy glands and cells of your vagina. Some types of vaginal discharge are watery; others have a thicker, more cheesy appearance, they may be clear, cloudy, odor-free or unpleasant-smelling.
Throughout a normal monthly hormonal cycle, women's vaginal discharge may change from thin/watery to thick mucus (nearing your time of ovulation) and return to thin before onset of a menstrual period.
In most cases, vaginal discharge is not a cause for concern. For example, when the discharge is watery and either clear or white and if it appears to have no conspicuous smell, it may just be a normal healthy vagina.
But vaginal discharge may be a sign of trouble if it:
Depending on the cause of your vaginal discharge, you may also experience itching, burning, bleeding, spotting between periods, fever, or pain during sex.
Abnormal vaginal discharge can have a range of causes. They include:
To determine the cause of your vaginal discharge, our providers at Westover Hills Women’s Health will ask you questions about your health and your lifestyle and any other symptoms you may have. They may also perform a pelvic exam and a vaginal swab to find the cause of your discharge.
Once the cause is diagnosed our medical team will recommend a personalized treatment plan that addresses your condition and will provide recommendations and education on actions for future prevention.
If you have vaginal discharge or any other type of reproductive or sexual health concern, we’re here to help. Schedule an appointment for an examination at one of our two San Antonio, Texas, offices by calling us today or using our online tool.